Sunday, July 02, 2017

AcroLove Festival (Whips, Washing Machines, AcroDance & Pops)

Tori and I attended our second AcroLove Festival on Saturday. Like the first time, we only went for one of the three days which turned out to be smart because I was completely worn out by the end of the four classes and my legs were extremely sore the next day. After warming up our bodies in the morning yoga session led by Fallon Lev, we spent the day learning so many new things to work on in our AcroYoga practice.

Session 1 (Whips taught by Josh Young and Priscilla Naber) - We had wanted to attend this cancelled class in January so we were happy to get a second chance. We learned the proper feet and body placement for Swan Dive, Back Whip, Throne to Bird Whip as well as a cool looking whip that went from Bird to Forearms to Feet. I was happy that we were able to walk through all the progressions safely. Now Tori and I have the confidence to practice them over and over again until the movements are ingrained in our muscle memory and we can whip them at normal speed.

Session 2 (Washing Machines with Chris Filkins and Emily Reuman) - The prerequisite for this class was the Ninja Star which we have learned fairly well. After teaching us some tips about how to improve it, Chris and Emily taught us a new washing machine, Nunchucks, that we have never seen before. After working on several progressions, we attempted the complete machine that starts in Front Plank and transitions through Side Star into Goofy Reverse Hip to Foot and back up to Side Star. Chris and Emily's other names for it are the "Arch Bishop" or "Crescent Moon" since the flyer has to arch their body through the back side of the machine. The hardest part for me to learn was where to move the foot that was not currently supporting the flier. It kept getting tangled up but after watching the teachers demonstrate it several times I finally learned the correct placement. They also stressed the importance of learning Free Side Stars to help improve washing machines. I was so happy we were able to pull Nunchucks off (tentatively) by the end of the class. My nickname for it is "Dark Side of the Moon".

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Session 3 (AcroDance with Ana-Caroline Saboya and Ariel Dubov) - I wanted to attend the Group Washing Machines class after lunch but Tori convinced me to take AcroDance instead after promising me there would be no counting. After practicing some jump timing skills, we worked on our Front and Back Walkovers. Normally, I can do these with no problems but my legs were dead tired and I struggled to press the flyers back over my head. The first big skill we learned was a new counter-balance pose where Tori had to hop up and wrap her legs around my mid-section. I had it pretty easy as the base but she had to lock her ankles and squeeze really tight as I leaned back. The final skill had two versions, hard and harder. With Tori's arm across my shoulder, she would hop up in a pike position before I used her momentum to swing her around my back as she rotated back to her feet. In the harder version, I would hook her knees as she lay across my back and swing her around and up into my arms in the Cradle pose. As you can tell from the video below, it still needs a lot of work. Ha!

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Session 4 (Pops with Hobs Hobotus and Lizzy Tomber) - Our Pops have improved a lot over the last six months but in this class we learned that our technique has been wrong. We found out that my arms are supposed to be bent as the base while the flyer should have straight arms. We had been doing the reverse so this threw us for a loop and it took awhile to re-calibrate while attempting the Inverted Side Star Pops. Instead of me basing two flyers in the earlier classes, this time our group contained three bases and Tori so it was less of a workout for my exhausted legs. With two big spotters, we felt very safe attempting the Reverse Star to Inverted Side Star Pop, Reverse Star to Reverse Hand to Hand Pop, and finally the hardest Inverted Side Star to Reverse Star Pop. With the assistive hands-on-spotting, we were all able to successfully complete each one.

It was a great festival for us. We learned so many new things that will keep us busy for awhile as we work on polishing these new skills.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Liquid Run Obstacle Course (Lost Wedding Ring)

Yesterday, Tori and I drove up to Newport Beach for The Liquid Run. It is an inflatable obstacle course floating in the Back Bay of the Newport Dunes Resort. I ended up running it myself since Kenny and Jill came down sick the night before and Tori's knee was still sore from AcroYoga. Below is the time-lapse video from my GoPro camera that I wore out on the course.

Since we bought the VIP Passes, I was able to arrive at any time during the day and join any heat that was about to start. After picking up my life jacket and strapping on the GoPro, I started the course with the 3pm heat. Wading out into the bay, we climbed aboard the course in waist deep water. With so many people moving around on the inflatable surface, I really had to concentrate to keep my balance. While waiting my turn to cross the first hurdle, volunteers on boats kept rowing past to spray us down with water canyons.

The first major obstacle was climbing a slippery slope with the help of a rope. Several guys slid down the other side into the water so I did the same. The Monkey Bars on the next obstacle were probably the toughest part of the course. It took all my hand strength to hold onto the bars coated with a thin layer of sunscreen. At the first corner, I managed to keep my balance as I ran through the sloped curve.

It took a long time to finish the first section on the crowded course and it grew even more congested on the back stretch. Looking ahead, I could see that the course cleared up on the far corner so I decided to cheat and take a little swim. The only problem was that it was hard to climb back up onto the inflatable surface and my wedding ring slipped off as I scrabbled at the edge. I didn't see it but I felt it slide up my finger as I slipped back into the water. I looked around desperately but I could not see it in the murky water of the bay. One of the lifeguards told me the water was over twelve feet deep so I knew I would not be able to find it. It bummed me out for the rest of the course, but I tried to not let it spoil my day. I had considered removing the ring before the race but I didn't follow through. My Fault!

As I continued on, I stopped to help a friendly kid out of the water. I ended up running the rest of the course with him. I have never seen someone slip and fall so many times in my life, but he was having a blast! The third leg of the race ended with a narrow Tight Walk that I managed to cross upright but I turned back to see the kid sprawled out on his back across the center. He received a high five when he managed to roll his way to the far side.

The years of flying and catching at Trapeze High prepared me for the next obstacle, the Flying Trapeze. It would have been pretty embarrassing if I had failed to swing across the narrow stretch of water. Actually, the hardest part was the fact that the bar was so low to the water that I had to really tuck up my long legs to make it across without hitting the surface.

Perhaps overconfident from the trapeze swing, I had my first fall onto my ass right after among the inflatable Pylons. Ha! Even though I missed the two tall slides on the back stretch, I had fun climbing and sliding down the third and final one on the course.

The last section had a Trampoline and a Wall Traverse along with the other smaller obstacles repeated several times over the course. From the shore, Tori took a picture of me tumbling dramatically over a small hurdle. One of the volunteers asked her if she had kids out on the course. "Just one," she replied. Ha!

Despite my shortcut, it took about an hour to complete the Liquid Run. As I was getting ready to climb the Tower Slide for the finish, I saw the group who had been in front of me at the first corner still attempting the Trapeze obstacle back at the half way point. While I was on the course, Tori overheard next year they are considering having of two courses, a fast and a slow one. I think that would be a great idea.

On the drive back to San Diego, we stopped to eat dinner at South of Nick's. There was a forty-five minute wait for the fancy Mexican restaurant but we were able to find a table at the bar. If I had know that they served the same Warm Butter Cake as their sister restaurant, Nick's, I would have saved room for desert. After our meal we walked down to the beach and watched the surfers from the pier at sunset.

Today, I am surprised that my legs are so worn out. I didn't feel that tired running the course but I guess I used a lot of muscle control to keep my balance while standing on the floating course.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

AcroYoga - Form 3
(Basic Transitions and Balances)

It's taken awhile but Tori and I finally completed AcroYoga Form 3 we started learning in Jack and Rachel's class at Aerial Revolution. We have been practicing all the individual sections for awhile now but today we put it all together during the jam at Swami's Beach Park. For us, the hardest part of Form 3 was transitioning the "Side Stars" back and forth to each leg without the use of my hands to support the flyer.

Form 3 (Basic Transitions and Balances)

Swami's Beach - AcroJam in the Park

Courtesy - Flyer helps lower Base to the Ground

Back Plank to Navasana (3 seconds)

Back Plank to Star

Free Star (10 seconds) and return to Back Plank

Low Foot to Hand (10 seconds)

Spider Roll (x3) - Reverse Throne to Star to Straddle Bat Transitions

Helicopter (x3) with Cannon Ball Dismount

Free Bird Mount

Side Star (x3) - So Tough!

Side Star to High Flying Whale with Back Walkover Dismount

Courtesy - Tori helping me back up to Standing

Here is the time lapse video of the entire Form 3 sequence while wearing the GoPro camera on my chest.

Link to Form 1 Post

Link to Form 2 Post